Acequia Trail Underpass is a spacious light filled passage way developed in collaboration with Santa Fe artist, Chrissie Orr. Illuminated ribs are fabricated from steel with translucent polycarbonate panels. Light pours in through the median skylight with a flash of intense Cobalt blue. Dimensions: 10' height, 24' wide, 100' length
Light/Luz is the essential ingredient of the artwork for the St Francis Drive underpass. At the early community design charrette the idea of walking into a lantern emerged and captured our imaginations. We wanted to create a spacious light filled passage way that would feel safe and inviting any time of day or night. We worked as a team drawing and redrawing shapes of the interior space until we settled on an asymmetrical “Fibonacci” spiral. The illuminated rib concept arose as a means to achieve both the spiral opening and lantern effect. Each rib consists of a steel frame with a backlit translucent panel. We celebrate light pouring in through the median skylight with a flash of intense cobalt blue and dozens of light icicles suspended in the central atrium. This centralspace is one for reflection and pausing as we bring back the connectivity of our community.
The Artist Team: Laurie Lundquist and Chrissie Orr worked seamlessly with project engineer Rich Rotto from Louis Berger and the City of Santa Fe over several years. The process of gaining public approval for this major undertaking was a bit contentious, the artists concept of an engaging light project garnered trust from the residents.
The underpass serves people coming and going from the Railyard Arts district, nearby homeless shelter and The New Mexico School of the Deaf. Polished metal plates secured to the ribs that serve as reflectors for light as well as mirrors so those passing through can see what’s behind them. Steel bird shapes along the walls refer directly to St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of Santa Fe, known for his compassion, love of all animals and natural elements. St Francis is often portrayed with birds, helping those in need or walking through the rain.
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